Fresh off a week of Spring Break, a group of dancers from Brockport embarked on a trip to Hofstra University on Long Island for the American College Dance Festival (ACDF) from March 25-28. Below are accounts from two students on their experience and its impact on their dance education.
Chloe Leibrick, Sophomore Dance and Spanish Adolescent Education Major:
When I was sent the ACDF class schedule for the first time, I was not only shocked by how many classes were offered, but by how many different kinds of classes were available. Despite the slightly harrowing process of the mass registration that ensued on our first night, I was able to sign up for several incredible classes. For instance, one of the first classes I took was Lindy Hop. I chose this class simply out of curiosity, and was so pleasantly surprised!
I also had the privilege of attending David Dorfman’s master class on the last day of our week at Hofstra. I had only taken one class with him before, and I was excited to immerse myself in his style of modern dance once again. I saw people of all ages and all cultures, disregarding and overcoming any and all barriers between one another and moving together as individuals with a common purpose.
Aside from the classes, I was absolutely stunned by the incredible performances that I was able to attend at this festival. Night after night, I was inspired by gorgeous dancers, bold choreographic choices, stunning costume and musical elements, and an overwhelming sense of passion for one’s art.
I will always cherish my experience at the American College Dance Festival. I took nine incredible classes that each taught me something new about one of my greatest passions; I witnessed some of the most spectacular performances I have ever seen, both in educational and professional settings; I connected with dancers from all over the country, some of whom I continue to keep in-touch with. I am so blessed to have been given so many gifts from this incredible conference, most importantly, the hope for a bright and beautiful future in the world of dance.
Allison Bohman, First Year MFA:
Attending the 2013 American College Dance Festival at Hofstra University was truly an honor. Not only was I proud to be attending as a representative from The College at Brockport, but a sense of community within the dance world as a whole was evident throughout this entire conference. It instilled a sense of excitement in me for the future of dance. Hundreds of dancers, dozens of colleges, and an endless display of talent combined to create an outstanding week of dancing and by the end, we were a community of dance artists, rather than dancers from separate schools.
Throughout the week, I had the opportunity to take a variety of dance classes. From ballet to Jamaican dance hall, to modern classes with Paul Taylor company dancers to lindy hop and massage for dancers. It was wonderful trying new things, while still working on techniques, like ballet, that I have been practicing for my entire life. In the Dance in The Community class I participated in, I experienced unique ways to bring dance into the community, specifically in a public school setting. At this particular festival, it was special see how small the world of dance is. Even though the conference was comprised of a variety of different colleges, in the end, we all will be working together in the field of dance. I found ACDF to be an excellent networking tool as well as mutual ground on which I ran into old friends from past dance concerts, summer camps, and training schools.
In addition to the outstanding classes offered, ACDF provides students with the chance to see a lot of dance. At the end of the week, a special gala performance was held, showcasing what the adjudicators had deemed as the strongest pieces. I am thrilled that both of the pieces submitted by The College at Brockport were selected to perform in this gala! Choreography by Angie Muzzy and Nicole Kaplan, combined with strong performances and dancing by Brockport dancers, made me proud to be representing Brockport. It was exciting to see these dances that I once witnessed on the Brockport stage, come to life again on a different stage.
The American College Dance Festival Association’s mission to “foster creative potential, to honor multiple approaches to scholarly and creative research and activity, to promote excellence in choreography and/or performance, and to give presence and value to diversity in dance” was definitely apparent through my experiences this week. Most importantly, I was reminded of why I love dance so much. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to attend this conference and look forward to utilizing all that I learned this week in contributing to the future of dance.